The One Thing Misty Copeland Said Her Barbie Must Have

By Kenrya Rankin May 03, 2016

Little ballerinas of color now have a doll they can call their own. Misty Copeland—who became the first Black woman to serve as the principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater (ABT) last July—announced on Good Morning America yesterday (May 2) that a Barbie has been created in her likeness.

It joines the Sheroes line, which already includes miniature versions of Ava DuVernay and Zendaya. The doll’s outfit is inspired by the Firebird costume Copeland wore in her very first ABT principal role. As of this afternoon, it is listed on as “temporarily out of stock,” but it will roll out to stores soon.

Copeland spoke to The Huffington Post about what it means to have her very own Barbie and what mattered most to her during development:

On her role in the design process:
They sent me many prototypes and I got to say, “Change this, make her boobs bigger.” Even her facial features, I wanted her nose to really mimic mine and not be as narrow as Barbie’s and have fuller lips. The shape of her eyes, the hair color, everything. So it was definitely collaborative.

On her must-have for the doll:
Muscles. That’s so much a part of me. And something I’ve been criticized for and celebrated for. It’s OK to be strong, and you can still be feminine. Dancers are athletes. Why try and hide that feature? We need these muscles to do what we do. It’s beautiful.

On joining the other dolls in the Sheroes line:
It’s incredible. It’s weird when you’re put next to these people that you look at not in the same way you see yourself. It’s such an honor to be able to stand next to women who are making a difference and that have a voice that are encouraging people. It’s nice to be a Black woman who’s being celebrated for positive things as they are as well.